Hazel brown eyes under transparent spectacles pierced Byakuya's deep black orbs.
"Kunimitsu Tezuka-kun." Mayuri started while staring at Tezuka's photo displayed on the 'super' huge screen inside his research laboratory. "Seishun Gakuen tennis club captain. Hobbies, favorites, skills, and love interests are primarily centralized on what humans termed as 'tennis stuffs'.
Byakuya frowned. Unfortunately not because of habit, but because of the fact that he doesn't know what tennis was all about.
"Apparently, " Mayuri continued, now eyeing Tezuka's photo with maddening interest. "He seemed to posses an extraordinarily unique reiatsu for a human being! Look at this.." he exclaimed as he pushed several buttons on some keyboards.
The 'super' huge screen automatically showed random videos of Tezuka doing his Zero Shiki drop shot, Tezuka zone, Phantom, Muga no Kyochi doors, and finally....a flock of women who literally fell down their knees when Tezuka glanced at their direction.
"What can you say Kuchiki-taichou? Isn't he a good specimen for- "
"Forget it." Byakuya interrupted. " This isn't something worth my time."
'Then.." Mayuri teased. "How about this?" he continued as he pushed another button.
Byakuya's eyes widened a millimeter as he recognized the person on the screen. Kuchiki Rukia, her adopted sister, who was being mercilessly treated through letting her run laps around the tennis courts, with the mighty Kunimitsu Tezuka saying something like; "Yudan sezu ni ikou!"
"I never heard of that spell before." Byakuya said in the coldest tone possible.
"So do I! Why don't you see it for yourself?"
In a split second, the Gotei 13 6th Division captain vanished in thin air.
"Arigatou gozaimasu, Tezuka-buchou!" Rukia's gigai said as she bowed down a perfect 90 degrees angle in front of the Seigaku captain.
Incidentally, Rukia decided to enter a different school from that of Ichigo's so as to cover wider range of hollow activities. Seigaku eventually picked up her attention. So it was like everytime she had a mission, her gigai was left to do the human things. And training with the best club in Seigaku was just as practical as it would seem.
Tezuka retreated back to their club room and packed his things up. Just as he was about to finish everything, he felt a chill ran down his spine as though his back was suddenly exposed to the cold breeze from the outside.
Using his 'shunpo' (flash step), Byakuya invaded the tennis club quarters without a single noise. Though his sharp senses didn't miss Tezuka's slight flinch when he landed his foot on the cemented floor.
The tennis captain turned around to make sure that the door has been locked, just in case the wind blow off its triple-screwed hinges, which was of course, theoretically impossible, considering the fine weather outside.
Tezuka sighed when he saw nothing different in the room. Perhaps he was just thinking too much. He opted to turn back to his discarded things when he felt a painful prick on the side of his neck, preventing him from making any movement.
"Senbonzakura hardly spares the life of those who go against the Gotei 13." came an all too familiar voice few inches behind him.
`Gotei what?` Tezuka thought with a frown. On his right eye`s rear view, he saw the cause of the painful prick on his neck. A katana? He frowned on the immediate idea that popped out his mind.
His grandfather surely doesn`t have illegal dealings with the yakuzas, does he?
"What do you want?" Tezuka asked coolly, realizing for the first time how he actually sounded exactly like the mysterious man.
"Answers." was the short reply.
"Without questions." the tennis captain retorted more like a statement of an obvious fact.
The response was one he really didn`t approve, as he felt the tip of the pointed object on his neck moved and made a centimeter cut on his skin.
"Whatever it is that you want, your methods are far off the line." Tezuka said.
"The same as how far off your reiatsu is compared to ordinary humans. If you claim to be one of them, you could probably show me some proofs at least."
"Not unless you lower down your blade. Class dismissals don`t give anyone the license to carry any weapons within the school premises."
Few moments of silence passed before Byakuya withdraw his `zanpakutou` and returned her in its sheath. Sensing the change of atmosphere, Tezuka turned to face the other man.
His piercing brown eyes locked on Byakuya`s deadly black gaze, and crap if a crackle of electric current didn`t seem to shoot up his body and jump-start his senses to heightened alert. The man in front of him stood with a noble demeanor Tezuka had only heard of from his great grandfather. An apparent danger coated in captivating elegance and beauty.
"Who are you?" he asked.
Byakuya eyed him indifferently. "Soul Society`s Gotei 13 6th Division captain, Kuchiki Byakuya."
Whatever Byakuya meant, Tezuka`s now sure of one thing. The man in front of him was a captain, probably from an organization called `Soul Society.`
"Seishun Gakuen tennis captain, Kunimitsu Tezuka, 3rd year." he said.
Byakuya`s eyes narrowed into slits.
A captain who has just been serving his position for 3 years? Compared to his centuries of experience, Tezuka wouldn`t even stand a chance against him.
But those eyes. A shade of brown, so clear and straightforward that they exude dominance above everything they stare at. Byakuya knew he should be an exception. But Tezuka`s redoubtable presence seemed to have found its way into his ice-block facade, rendering him barely in control of his urge to let Senbonzakura carve marks on the tennis captain`s skin.
Few blocks away from the club room, Rukia had reunited back with her gigai, creating a minor change of aura in the surrounding environment. Byakuya didn't miss the abrupt change, and averted his attention outside the room, finally realizing what the video Mayuri showed meant.
"There seemed to have been a misunderstanding. I'll let this pass for now." the shinigami captain said.
Tezuka shut his eyes in slight annoyance as he made his breathing steady. When he opened them back, Byakuya was gone.
"Kuchiki - taichou…" Renji muttered, pointing his index finger on his captain's neck.
Byakuya brought his hand on his neck but stopped mid-way upon realizing what Renji meant.
His scarf was gone.
He stormed out of the 6th division squad headquarters with a 'dangerous' expression on his face. The next time he sees the tennis club captain, Kunimitsu Tezuka will be on a battlefield, where the victor will be no other than him.
"Who would have thought you'd look good with a white scarf." Fuji commented as they were heading home.
Tezuka found no bandages on the club room earlier when he was looking for something to cover the cut on his neck. The only thing he has was Byakuya's scarf, which he managed to effortlessly untangle from the other guy when the latter got preoccupied with something outside the club room right before he left. A gentle tug from the satin cloth was all it took for it to slide down Byakuya's neck, without him noticing of course.
The next time he sees the 6th division captain, Kuchiki Byakuya, he'll surely make him run laps around the whole of Seigaku's ground.
While Tezuka had made up a theory that the shinigami captain was involved in some 'covert' government projects, funded by the Japanese elites, Byakuya was more than convinced that Tezuka was a different entity living inside a human body.
As they took a sip on their cups of tea under the moonlight flash from their two different worlds, they've sworn to once again meet and prove what they believe.
If looks could kill, the moon might have been long dead by now.